In the bright month of April, Tsinghua University celebrated its 112th anniversary. In honor of the occasion, Xinya College welcomed home alumni with a series of special events that included a 2023 Alumni Symposium and Reception. Nearly 20 past graduates were in attendance, sharing insight into personal growth in their respective fields, reminiscing about college life, and talking about what an undergraduate education had meant for them.
On the afternoon of April 29, several former students of Xinya talked with their old teachers about the College's past, present, and future. Also on hand for the symposium were Dean of Xinya College Mr. Mei Ciqi, Vice Dean Professor Ruan Dong, and teachers from the Collegiate Office.
Mr. Mei began by extending a warm welcome to all returning alumni on behalf of the College on the special occasion of the 112th anniversary of Tsinghua University. He spoke of the College’s special concern for the growth and development of all its past students and of a concerted effort on the part of the College to explore new avenues for college building and work with alumni. In view of Xinya College’s upcoming 10th anniversary, he called on the alumni present to share their insight into undergraduate student life and offer suggestions on how the College might be more effective in training undergraduate talent.
Xiong Weiqing (PPE, Class of 2021) offered up fond memories of her time at the College, saying it was marked by a warmth normally reserved for home and a sense of idealism that permeated both her studies and her personal life. Speaking from her own experience as an intern, she expressed a hope that current undergraduates would consider participating in more social activities and learning more about China itself, applying themselves academically to gradually expand the cultural influence of Xinya College.
Huang Minglei (Biological Sciences, Class of 2021) spoke in high terms of the value of the Xinya community. He personally considered Xinya College a safe haven and spiritual home, with the College's general education laying a solid, humanistic foundation from which students could go on to conduct more in-depth professional research. He also expressed an appreciation for the Jinghong series activities organized by Xinya College in recent years and a hope that more systematic college-based activities and diversified general education courses were in the works.
Two former Xinya students from the PBC School of Finance, Xiao Yunkai and Si Junqi, both members of the Class of 2022 in economics and finance, shared their experiences in studying and subsequent job searches. Xiao Yunkai expressed a belief in the future importance of combining talent with a knowledge system and ability to learn quickly. He suggested the College add courses aimed at improving scientific literacy and explore the intrinsic value of labor-based study and social practice. At the same time, he also advised current undergraduates to enhance their true understanding of national conditions and suggested the College continue work on the Xinya Reading Club and establish an alumni mentorship system where students could discuss their academic and life experiences in peer-to-peer exchanges, fostering correct academic and social understanding at the undergraduate level. Regarding the situation in China, Si Junqi felt Xinya College's general education curriculum ought to focus more on practical application than simple abstract knowledge, providing students with more opportunities for practice in the high-tech industries and artificial intelligence.
Li Guangpu (a graduate of electronics in 2021) hoped that Xinya College can further clarify its positioning and development direction in the future and create more prominent characteristics in curriculum setting and talent training. In addition, he suggested that students should visit more developing countries for exchanges and study so as to have a better understanding of China's national conditions and think more scientifically about the future development of China.
After the alumni representatives shared their stories and views, Professor Ruan Dong made a summary. He praised all alumni for their development and progress, affirmed their contributions to the development of Xinya College, and thanked them for their valuable suggestions on the future development of Xinya College.
On the evening of April 29, Xinya College held the Alumni Reception activity to deepen exchanges between teachers and students, enhance friendship among students and create a more favorable atmosphere for study and life. Returning alumni, some junior students on the campus and teachers gathered together to discuss the future of Xinya College and share their fond memories of college life.
At the beginning of the activity, Mr. Mei Ciqi delivered a speech. He first extended a sincere welcome to all Xinya alumni and thanked them for their contributions to the development of the College. He pointed out that Xinya College has developed rapidly and the Xinya community has gradually expanded in recent years, forming a strong sense of identity rooted in the gene of Xinya College. He shared his certainty that Xinya College would not have been able to achieve such development without the strong support of every alumnus. He likewise expressed a hope that Xinya alumni would take an active part in the future development of the College and continue to explore new paths and methods for college-based and general education.
Associate Dean Zhang Weite welcomed the alumni and thanked them for their continued attention to and support for the work of Xinya College. He spoke of the importance of enabling Xinya College's students to continuously broaden their horizons while consciously shouldering their responsibilities and taking up their missions, dictated by these times, as they grow and develop, and to graduate from Xinya College and Tsinghua University or go abroad, which would in turn prepare them for the global responsibilities common to all humanity in this new era.
While enjoying the food, the alumni, all members of different graduating classes, shared interesting stories about their time at Xinya College, their feelings about moving on, and their deep affection for their alma mater. The lively discussions passed in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
As the event began to wind down, Mr. Mei gave a detailed account of the "One Thing Plan" public welfare project soon to be launched by Xinya College and spoke of his hopes for the current student body to be part of something meaningful, something they would be willing to invest their time and energy in. Mr. Mei took advantage of the occasion to suggest the alumni join the current undergraduate class in completing the "One Thing Plan" project. He also invited the alumni back for Xinya College’s 10th anniversary the following year to take part and bear witness to the future development of the College.